What's New In the Community: October 2013
Monday, October 07 2013
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Denman-Wilke Named DIW Director

kathy denman-wilke-diw-director.jpg.jpg ST. PAUL, Minn. – Kathy Denman-Wilke, joined the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, as the Department of Indian Work Director, on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Council Executive Director, Patricia Lull said she is delighted, noting “In recent years Kathy has worked with us as part of a collaborative effort to address diabetes. It is exciting to welcome her now to our staff.”

From the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Denman-Wilke has led the Indian Education Programs at Saint Paul Public Schools for 13 years. She is a graduate of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration, and Iowa State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and American Indian Studies.

Prior to her position with the Saint Paul Public Schools Denman-Wilke worked in the field of Early Childhood Family Education for 14 years in Minneapolis Public Schools. “She has a long-standing commitment to early childhood education and is eager to help us expand the Council’s work with families and young children,” added Lull.

“I am a person that likes to help the community,” said Denman-Wilke. “I am passionate about working for our American Indian families and thrilled to continue to do so at the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches.”

Saint Paul Area Council of Churches was established in 1906 when local congregations came together across differences to serve their community, particularly youth. Major programs include the Department of Indian Work, Project SPIRIT after-school program and Freedom School summer program for African American children, and Project Home, the emergency shelter for families in Ramsey County. Through the Department of Indian Work the Council sponsors a food shelf, programs in diabetes prevention and wellness, and enrichment activities for American Indian children and youth during the school year and summer.

Red Lake Establishes Treaty Holiday

RED LAKE, Minn. – The Red Lake Ojibwe tribal council of northern Minnesota voted on Sept. 12 unanimously to establish a Red Lake Nation tribal holiday “Old Crossing Treaty Day” to commemorate the only treaty between the United States and Red Lake Nation.

One hundred fifty years ago on Oct. 2, 1863, the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe signed a treaty with the United States contributing 11 million acres of agriculture land to the United States. The holiday will not only recognize the contributions of the Red Lake Nation to the United States but will also promote awareness to the history of the Red Lake Nation.

A ceremony along with a feast will be held at the Red Lake Humanities Center beginning at 11 a.m. on Oct. 2. Prof. Brenda Child, University of Minnesota, will present a history of the treaty and the Red Lake Nation. At 4 p.m., tribal officials will travel to Huot at Old Crossing Treaty Memorial Park near Red Lake Falls, where the commemoration will continue at the treaty signing site. Chairman Jourdain will give an address and a ceremonial drum will be present for the event.

MIGIZI Awards Its First IDA Match

Minneapolis – Last year, MIGIZI Communications began a new program – Seventh Generation Wealth Creation – funded by the Northwest Area Foundation of St. Paul. The goal of the program is to empower 40 American Indian high school students to build wealth for themselves.

Students accomplish this by doing social entrepreneurship ventures such as a media production company, through which they earn an hourly wage. Part of that wage is steered toward an Individual Development Account, where the savings accumulates and is ultimately matched three-to-one, through contributions by MIGIZI and community partner, BiiGIiWiin Community Development Loan Fund.

The first student to benefit from this new program is Alena Henry, White Earth Ojibwe. She graduated from South High School in June and was accepted into the Aveda Institute to begin study in the Cosmetology Program. She was able to reduce her student loan needs through the addition of the $2,000 contributed from her IDA account. She graduates from the program in May 2014 and is hoping to start working in the Twin Cities area after graduation.

Twelve other students saved money in their IDA accounts so far and MIGIZI will enroll another round of 20 students this year. MIGIZI thanks to its partners in this new endeavor, Woodlands National Bank, BiiGiiWiin Community Development Loan Fund and the Northwest Area Foundation.

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